(Posted October 9, 2004)

Lebanon Valley 27, Juniata 20

Annville, Pa.? Despite playing its best all-around game of the season, the Juniata College football team could not overcome costly mistakes in the fourth quarter, as the Eagles fell 27-20 to Lebanon Valley College in Middle Atlantic Conference action at Arnold Field in Annville Saturday afternoon.

The victory improved Lebanon Valley to 3-3 overall and 2-3 in MAC contests with the victory, while the Eagles dropped to 0-5 on the year, and 0-4 in conference play.
The Eagles finished the game with a season-high 149 yards rushing, while forcing three turnovers on defense and making big plays in the special teams. But it was not enough to help Juniata overcome four second-half turnovers which helped Lebanon Valley rally for the comeback win.
Duane Ehredt, Jr (Bellwood-Antis/Tyrone) led the break-out game for the Eagle rushing attack as he gained a career-high 115 yards and scored a touch down. Paul Kozich (Trinity/Dillsburg) added 57 yards on the ground for the Eagles.

The trend of both teams making key defensive and special team?s plays began on the first possession of the ballgame. Lebanon Valley put together a long drive to start the game, with a long completion moving the ball deep into Eagle territory. The Dutchmen were kept off the scoreboard as Paul Evans (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) came around the end to block the field goal attempt.

Another special teams play set up the first score of the game. A muffed punt by Lebanon Valley?s Brandon Shank gave Juniata the ball on the 15-yard line. The Dutchmen defense held, but Dan Heinlein (Bishop Carrol/Ebensburg) drilled a 33-yard field goal to put the Eagles in front 3-0

It was the Eagle defense making the big play on the ensuing drive. After a pair of first downs had the Dutchmen on the move, Erik Lohrmann (The Peddie School/Clarksburg, N.J.) forced a fumble with a hit on quarterback Dan Kelly which was recovered and returned 42 yards to the end zone by Bryon Latterner (Penn Cambria/Gallitzin). It was the first score of Latterner?s career. The Heinlein point after made it 10-0 Juniata with 5:32 remaining in the first quarter.

Lebanon Valley found the answer quickly, responding with a nine-play 56-yard scoring drive of its own. Kelly completed two third-down passes on the drive to keep the chains moving. On a first down rush from the six Shank fought to the three before losing the ball into the end zone, where it was recovered by Lebanon Valley?s Eric Laird for a touchdown. The point-after attempt was unsuccessful which left the score 10-6 in favor of Juniata.

Juniata?s offense found its first big play of the game on the next drive, with a 33-yard run from Ehredt, Jr setting up Heinlein?s second field goal attempt of the game. The junior was good for the second time, this time from 34 yards to give Juniata a 13-6 lead.

The Eagles offense got working again on the first possession of the second quarter. A 10-yard run from Ehredt on third and 10 got the drive started, and it ended with Ehredt plunging in from one yard out to cap a 10-play 71-yard scoring drive. The point after brought the score to 20-6 Juniata with four minutes gone in the second.

The home team took a big chunk out of the lead late in the second quarter when Kelly hit freshman Dan Brossman with a 37-yard strike off a fake reverse to cap a 4-play 67-yard scoring drive. Eldin Brodlic added the extra point, making the score 20-13 with under five minutes remaining before half. Both defenses would stiffen in the final minutes, and the teams went to the locker room with Juniata leading 20-13.

The second half began with Eagle quarterback Jeffrey Hayes (Indian Valley/Lewistown) hitting Lance Tippett (Altoona/Altoona) with a long completion into Lebanon Valley territory. The Dutchmen defense held, forcing a missed 25-yard field goal attempt.

Juniata promptly got the ball back as Evans intercepted his second pass of the season. But the Dutchmen came right back forcing a Hayes fumble on third down to take possession back at their own 47.

Lebanon Valley took advantage mounting a six-play, 53-yard drive which culminated with Kelly notching his second scoring pass of the game, this time a six-yard strike to Luke Rendine. The point after from Brodlic knotted the score at 20 with 8:55 left in the third quarter.

Both teams would be kept out of the end zone until mid-way through the fourth quarter. Lebanon Valley stripped Ehredt and Mitch Nyman returned the fumble 22 yards to the Juniata two. Three plays later Kelly found John Smith a step inside the sideline to put the home team in front. The point after gave Lebanon Valley a 27-20 advantage with 8:43 left in the game.

Kelly finished the game 19-for-29 for 254 yards and three scoring passes. The Eagles held Lebanon Valley?s rushing game in check with Eric Laird leading the team with 48 yards on the ground. Rendine led the team with five catches, while Gino Trosa gained just less than 100 yards with 96 yards receiving on the game.

The Eagles looked to have something working as they moved into Lebanon Valley territory on the ensuing drive. But the home team came up with another big defensive play as Jimmy Holzman picked off a Hayes third-down pass and returned it deep into Eagle territory. This time it was the Eagles who made the defensive play as they forced a field goal attempt, then Lohrmann burst through and blocked the 25-yard attempt returning it to near midfield and giving Juniata another opportunity to knot the score.

However, an illegal block penalty brought the ball all the way back to the 20, and two plays later, Holzmann nabbed his second interception of the game and returned it all the way to the Juniata 36. A facemask penalty gave Lebanon Valley the ball at the Juniata 21-yard line with under five minutes left in regulation.

Facing a fourth and five on the ensuing drive, Kelly called his own number on a quarterback option and picked up a critical first down inside Juniata?s 10-yard line. The gain, teamed with a late personal foul penalty on the Eagles allowed the home team to run out the clock to seal the 27-20 victory.

Hayes ended the game 9-for-24 passing for 95 yards and the two interceptions. Jason Koch (Kutztown/Kutztown) caught a team-high four passes for 37 yards.

Defensively Peter Thomas (Mechanicsburg/Mechanicsburg) led the Eagles with 11 tackles, one of them for a loss. Paul Berry (North Hagerstown/Hagerstown, Md.) recorded nine stops for the Eagles. D.J. Dunmire (Camp Hill/Camp Hill) had eight tackles and forced a pair of fumbles, while Matt Garner (Bellwood-Antis/Tyrone) made eight tackles, three for a loss, forced a fumble and recorded a sack.

Chris Weaver led Lebanon Valley with 10 tackles, two of which were for a loss. He also forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. Holzman had eight tackles to go with his two interceptions.

Juniata will be back in action on Saturday when MAC foe Albright will travel to Huntingdon for a 1:30 kick-off.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.